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  • A high ranking trade unionist has joined in commending the Government and some members of the public sector for reaching an arrangement for the payment of wages and other benefits for the 2015-2017 contract period.
  • Acting General Secretary of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU), Ray Howell, has said that public sector workers have endured the challenges of a five-year wage freeze and he is pleased with the ongoing discussions and the recent deal that has been signed by some members of JCTU.
  • Mr. Howell was speaking last Thursday (August 20) during the opening ceremony of the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) National Bipartite Meeting at the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF) in Kingston.

A high ranking trade unionist has joined in commending the Government and some members of the public sector for reaching an arrangement for the payment of wages and other benefits for the 2015-2017 contract period.

Acting General Secretary of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU), Ray Howell, has said that public sector workers have endured the challenges of a five-year wage freeze and he is pleased with the ongoing discussions and the recent deal that has been signed by some members of JCTU.

“I want to join in congratulating the union leaders and Government [for] coming to [this] historic pact. We know for labour it is not everything you want you get…but in the interest of nation building and economic development we have to compromise,” he said.

Mr. Howell was speaking last Thursday (August 20) during the opening ceremony of the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) National Bipartite Meeting at the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF) in Kingston.

Eight of the 11 unions under the JCTU signed the Heads of Agreement earlier this month.

Mr. Howell noted that going forward continued dialogue will be essential for partnership among the various groups.

“The adversarial relationship between government, private sector and labour is far gone. I believe in going forward the need for dialogue and…for partnership,” he said.

Jamaica was the seventh location for the series of National Bipartite meetings that have been scheduled for the 15 CARIFORUM member states.

 

Meetings have already been held in St. Lucia, Grenada, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Haiti.

The meetings are part of a three year regional social dialogue project funded by the European Union at a cost of €1,715,000 (US$ 2 million) and geared towards strengthening cooperation among Caribbean governments, labour, and business through social dialogue.